This year marks the 25th anniversary of Martin Scorsese’s transcendent gangster classic “Goodfellas,” and while the director’s grand stature in cinematic history is in no doubt, that doesn’t mean there are no under-appreciated gems hiding in his filmography. Point of fact, this year also marks the 22nd anniversary of the little discussed adaptation of Edith Wharton’s novel, “The Age of Innocence.” To convince you of the sensual beauty and magnificence of the period piece, Milad Tangshir has crafted a nearly 20-minute-long video essay on the virtues of the 1993 film.
Titled “Hidden Behind Lace,” Tangshir’s video essay not only breaks down Scorsese’s visual style and offers analysis, but also includes clips from interviews given by editor Thelma Schoonmaker, cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, co-screenwriter Jay Cocks, production designer Dante Ferretti, and Scorsese himself. It’s a loving tribute to a film that’s been unfairly overlooked since it was released in between the much more commercial “Cape Fear” remake and “Casino.”
Of course, Scorsese doesn’t much care about chasing an audience. As he explains late in the video essay, “I don’t particularly say ‘Oh this is a wonderful story for today’s audience.’ I have no idea what a good story for today’s audience is. I really don’t know. I just hope that if it’s honest enough and emotionally compelling, there might be some people out there that it will address.” That sentiment goes a long way in explaining how a filmmaker can go from making “Goodfellas” and “Casino” to something like “Kundun” or next year’s long-awaited “Silence,” which is based on Shusaku Endo’s novel that follows two Jesuit priests in the 17th century that face violence and persecution in Japan while spreading the gospel of Christianity and trying to find their lost mentor.
While next month brings the release of a snazzy new 4K remaster of “Goodfellas” on Blu-ray, the U.S. still has no official Blu-ray release of “The Age of Innocence.” However, you can still pick up the film on DVD, through a VOD service, or – if necessary – by importing a Blu-ray version from Europe. In the meantime, watch the great video essay on Scorsese’s film below. Also check out a documentary about the making of the movie right here.